Review: Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident, A New Game With a Classic Feel

The Malgrave Incident

The Malgrave Incident for Wii

If there is one thing I know, it is this – you really can’t trust a wealthy recluse.   Give a wealthy recluse a private island and now you have a recipe for disaster.  Of course the only wealthy recluse who owns a private island that I have met (virtually) is Winston Malgrave from the Nintendo Wii Game – Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident.

The Malgrave Incident – A Story Fit For a Book

Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident is a mystery and puzzle solving game that focuses on a strange and possibly magical island called Malgrave Island.  Winston Malgrave, the wealthy recluse who owns the island, claims that his island is home to a strange dust that may have the power to cure many of the world’s ailments.   Before good old Winston can save the world, he needs a top notch detective to help him save his beloved wife Sarah.   As the master detective for the Mystery Case Files Detective Agency, you get invited to the mysterious, deserted  and puzzle filled Malgrave Island.

A Video Game That Moves At a Book’s Pace

Many Wii games focus on using the Wii Motion Controller to jump, swing and rapidly shake – The Malgrave Incident is NOT one of these games.  The Malgrave Incident moves at a wonderfully calm and relaxed pace that parents and grandparents will appreciate.  The graphics are beautiful, the storyline is intriguing and exploring the island feels like watching a movie.

The Malgrave Incident

Much of the game consists of trying to locate objects in complex pictures – much like Where’s Waldo.  You calmly point with your controller and click on objects as you find them.  The other major aspect of the game is exploring the island, finding clues, taking notes in your casebook and trying to solve various puzzles on the island.  In this sense, the game plays out as more of an interactive detective story, than a fast paced video game.

Who Will Enjoy Playing the Malgrave Incident?

The Malgrave Incident is one of those rare video games that can be enjoyed by the whole family (it is rated E for Everyone).  There is some reference to violence, so you probably want to avoid playing it with kids younger than seven years old.  Kids, parents and even grandparents can have fun playing the Malgrave Incident together – much as they might read a good detective story together and try to solve the cases.

The Malgrave Incident is not a great choice for kids (or adults) who are looking for a fast paced action game.  There are a few Multiplayer mini-games that involve passing a bomb and quickly finding objects in a complex picture – but if you have kids who want a fast paced, action oriented Wii game, you probably want to look elsewhere.

The Malgrave Incident Promotes Fun and Limits Frustration

Many puzzle and case solving video games sound good on paper but when you play them you find it is either too easy to be fun or so hard it is frustrating.  You get stuck on a puzzle and never end up finishing the game.  The Malgrave Incident does an excellent job of avoiding this pitfall.

The game moves at a good pace and provides hints and clues if you get stuck.  Can’t find that last hidden object?  Click the magnifying glass and a circle is drawn around the area you should be looking in.   You can also have another player join in and help you find objects, which is a great way to get other family members involved.

Conclusion:  Mystery Case Files:  The Malgrave Incident

The Malgrave Incident is a video game, but the experience of playing it feels more like reading a fascinating mystery novel, where you control the outcome.    Much as a great book can appeal  to readers of all ages, The Malgrave Incident will appeal to players of all ages.  Moms, Dads, Grandparents and kids can all enjoy playing this game and it is particularly fun to play together as a family.

If you don’t like puzzles or solving mysteries, then you may want to look elsewhere.  If you have kids who only like fast paced action games – then take a pass on the Malgrave Incident.  For everyone else with a Wii, The Malgrave Incident is an excellent choice that will have the whole family wondering, are all wealthy recluses this creepy?

Final Verdict:
Recommend? Yes!
Best For What Age Range? 7 – 77
Best For What Audience? Anyone who likes puzzles and solving mysteries
Requires Advanced Video Game Skills? Nope!  Very relaxed and simple to control.

More Information:

Visit the Malgrave Incident Website .  Available for Nintendo Wii.  Price:  About $30

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FULL DISCLOSURE: We received the The Malgrave Incident to review. We received no money for doing this review and receive nothing if you do decide to buy The Malgrave Incident. This is a real review, by a real Dad (and his kids)!

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